Their map led them to Recoleta, an enclosed miniature city of the dead who had laid great store in being remembered: Four square blocks with narrow, paved walkways that criss-crossed broad avenues, all lined with imposing monuments and crypts casting shadows through which a line of visitors slowly processed; people of all ages, drawn like them, from around the world; some merely curious, others to scatter carnations and roses at her shrine acknowledging for a silent moment that “Santa Evita” had tapped something deep within them.
As Annie and Vince filed by in turn, the modest nature of
the black marble crypt surprised them; but it was the bronze plaque inscribed with words from Evita--No me lloras or “don’t cry for me”--which caused Annie to bring her hand to her chest and lower her chin as she sought to quiet the convulsive movements of her shoulders. To make matters worse, just beyond Evita’s resting place they came upon another tomb with a life-size statue in white marble of a soulful young woman standing at its entrance. She seemed to be glancing back at them, like an angel, her right hand resting on the door. They paused and overheard a guide explain that it was a memorial to a sixteen-year-old girl, the age of their students at East High. Although merely in a coma or perhaps narcoleptic, she had been thought dead and was buried alive; despite efforts to free herself, by the time the source of her cries was traced only her broken fingernails and the scratches on the inside of her sarcophagus lid bore witness to her horrible fate.
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